With his fourth studio album about to be released on Mumdance and Logos’ label Different Circles, we caught up with Chevel to find out the backstory of the LP. The Italian born producer spent two years in Berlin where his style transformed and now he is putting his own twist on the weightless sound.
The album itself sounds extremely considered and thought through, showing a higher level of consciousness and creativity in his production.
Having previously released on labels like Stroboscopic Artefacts, Mistry, Non Series and his own label Enklav, Chevel uses his house and techno influences to create a unique, hypnotic LP entitled Always Yours.
Although some of the tracks are very contrasting, for example the intensity of ‘Dem Drums’ versus the vastly more relaxed ‘Underwater’, they flow seamlessly and fit together for a listening experience that very much makes sense. Did you have a general concept for the album, and if so, what was it?
No I didn’t in the beginning. All the tracks come from a vast period of works, say three or four years of recordings. With the label founders, Mumdance and Logos, we spent quite a lot of time finding the perfect balance in the tracklist. I think the concept is the continuation I already showed and questioned on ‘Blurse’ (means blessing and curse) where I literally put contrasts and conflicts in the audiences’ face.
I love those opposites. I love the “weightless” concept too, where you interrupt tension and climax with a beatless track. So yeah, I guess that’s the concept and it came later. It came once we’d gone through this large body of work and started glimpsing the tracklist and the record. I find it too classic and dangerous to put concepts first, they might get you stuck or stranded in overthinking. Fuck that.
There’s a strong theme throughout the LP; crisp, icy percussion placed in a cold and sparse environment. Did you use any interesting work-flow techniques to produce Always Yours?
I used quite a lot of opposites, like the modular synth and old Roland boxes, treated them digitally and then a lot of acoustic recordings too. Like in ‘Warming Bath’, I played the track thru the French Pavillon speakers during Venice Biennale 2017 and captured the people in there, the real reverb and the background noise. I think contrasts is what inform my sound and aesthetic.
In terms of gear, I resampled a lot into Omnisphere 2, a lot of audio going through that software and Reaktor too. I want to stay updated, I want stay fresh and interested with workflows and working methods too, you know.
Different Circles has featured the top tier artists of the weightless scene such as Airhead, Shapednoise and of course the label owners themselves, Mumdance and Logos. How does it feel to be brought onboard for the label’s first album release?
It feels surreal, it feels great. Got rushes of euphoria when we were talking about the album, literally. It’s also quite a big challenge and responsibility too as I come from a different background, completely. So I am not really aware of the scene involved behind them, we’ll see.
This album seems to be a melting pot of different styles and genres such as house, techno and, of course, weightless. What are a few tracks or concepts that influenced the album?
Think the Different Circles nights at Victoria in Dalston kinda started this whole thing, funnily enough. I remember writing ‘The Call’ after one of those nights. But at the same time the process has been so long, so I changed a lot. I had no labels or tracks in mind at all. I evolved a lot, that’s why the album sounds so diverse but hopefully still me.
In terms of tracks, I really don’t know, for the same reason. Long time passed. Might be the beats in ‘Yeezus‘ to the latest Renick Bell stuff. Whatever. ‘Seigfried‘ by Frank Ocean is the ultimate weightless pop track. Love what Whities and Hemlock are pushing still, the Koreless and patten music. The old and latest Lorenzo Senni.
Always Yours will be released on 30th March, 2018 on Different Circles.
Words: Pete Brown
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